What is Copyright?

What is Copyright

What is Copyright?

What is Copyright? One aspect of intellectual property law is copyright protection. In the US, federal law grants copyright protection for both published and unpublished works. The work must be an original piece by the author and must also be a tangible medium of expression. Copyright protection can be afforded to digital work such as web pages, books, movies, photographs, poems, essays, music, pictorial work, dance choreography, software, architecture, and sculptures. If any of the aforementioned work has copyright protection, the owner has the exclusive right to make and distribute copies, receive income from the work, perform or display the work, and make derivative works.

Some Details About Copyright Protection

Copyright is different from a patent or a trademark because of the pieces it can protect. Copyright generally concerns original and tangible pieces while patents are made on inventions and trademarks are used to protect words or phrases (and more). Copyright protection exists the very moment the piece is created by the owner, and lasts the owner’s lifetime plus another 70 years. While registering the piece is voluntary, it is recommended. Registration of copyright allows for a public record of registration, which enables the author to bring forth a lawsuit if they believe there has been a copyright violation on their work.

Copyright Violation and Remedies

Copyright violations can come about through various ways as there are so many different works that have protections. For example, if an image has a copyright violation, this means that some entity is using the image without the copyright holder’s explicit permission, recreating the photograph without permission, or holding a license for the image and using it in a way not covered by the license.

If the federal court believes a violation has taken place, there are a few remedies they can institute. For example, the court may require damages, payment of the other party’s attorney fees, payment of up to $150,000 per infringement, and an injunction that prohibits the violator from using the work going forward.

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